Lucescu expecting difficult Sociedad tie

Shakhtar Donetsk coach Mircea Lucescu is expecting a difficult encounter when his side host Real Sociedad on Wednesday.

The Ukrainian outfit currently sit third in UEFA Champions League Group A, three points adrift of leaders Manchester United and two behind second-placed Bayer Leverkusen.

Bottom club Sociedad's hopes of qualification are fading fast, but Shakhtar could climb into the qualification spots if they pick up maximum points and Leverkusen lose to United.

However, Lucescu believes the Spanish club will not prove an easy opponent at the Donbass Arena.

"Tomorrow, we expect a very difficult game," he said. "Sociedad have a lot of good players who are much sought-after by the European football giants.

"In particular I want to note (Antoine) Griezmann and (Carlos) Vela - very fast and skilful players in the attacking third, who not just operate very well, but also score goals very often.

"I wish we could play tomorrow at least on the same level as we did at home against Manchester United (a 1-1 draw) and Bayer Leverkusen (a 0-0 draw), with lady luck shining on us a bit."

A number of Shakhtar players were involved in international duty with Ukraine over the past fortnight, losing a 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifying play-off 3-2 on aggregate to France in dramatic circumstances, but Lucescu is hopeful they can put that disappointment behind them.

"I hope that’s over now and that tomorrow they will show their best side in virtually the most important game this year," he added.

"I promise that the game will be very tough. We will try to do everything possible in order to attain a positive result."